MADISON, NE - A cattle feeder from Madison is helping lead the capital campaign to fund new agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College.
Jeanne Reigle, who co-owns Reigle Cattle Company with her husband, John, and son and daughter-in-law, is a co-chair of the campaign, along with Russ Vering of Central Plains Milling in Howells and Columbus.
“My husband, John, and I asked Northeast for help in meeting our workforce needs,” Reigle explained. “Their answer was this plan to create a premiere location to attract traditional and non-traditional students from all over the country, whether they are interested in livestock agriculture, precision farming or another aspect of production.”
Providing trained employees for area farms, ranches and agri-businesses is one of the main goals of the Nexus project at Northeast Community College.
According to Dr. Tracy Kruse, vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation, “As we talk with area business people, one topic that comes up again and again is the critical shortage of trained workers. Since nine out of 10 Northeast students stay in Nebraska after graduation, we believe that increasing enrollments in our ag program would help farmers, ranchers and agri-businessmen meet that challenge.”
Kruse said that one of the factors limiting student growth in the Northeast ag department is the lack of modern facilities.
“Veterinary technology and animal science students learn in a 100-year-old repurposed dairy barn,” Kruse said. “The Nexus campaign will provide the funds needed to replace that building, as well as provide a farm site that more closely resembles a modern Nebraska farm.”
Reigle has past experience in fundraising, having chaired several local efforts as well as being a co-chair of the 2008 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball. She encourages everyone to make an investment in agriculture in northeast Nebraska by contributing to the Nexus campaign.
“I tell ag producers that each dollar contributed to new ag facilities at Northeast is an investment in their own ag business, not just in the college. This state of the art campus will give close proximity access to some of the best qualified ag workforce, technology advancements, and crop management and development.”
“There are several ways to be a part of the Nexus campaign,” Reigle continued. “Cash donations can be made over a five-year pledge period; gifts of grain and livestock are being accepted by the campaign; and some retirees are designating the required disbursements from their IRA’s to the project.”
“Northeast wants to make it possible for everyone to be a part of this project,” Kruse said. “If writing a large check is not something you can do, please contact the Foundation office for more information on alternative ways to support agriculture at Northeast in a significant and tax deductible way.”
Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, and a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on E. Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.
In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.
For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.